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Help on OCI reissue due to nationality change

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  • Help on OCI reissue due to nationality change

    Hello I'd appreciate some guidance on the process for updating a preexisting OCI because our nationality has changed from Canadian to American.

    I have an OCI for myself and my wife since 2010. This OCI was linked to our Canadian passports (we're both Canadian citizens).
    Since then we have got US citizenship and now travel with our US passports. I was told recently that our OCI needs to be re-issued because of this. I have tried to get information about this but the consular office has been very unhelpful.

    I applied for a change using the OCI Miscellaneous Services form and was issued a file number but the instructions are very confusing on how to proceed after this. If anyone has answers to these questions I would greatly appreciate it.
    1. Given that I already have a OCI card and my canadian passport is still valid, is it really necessary to get an OCI reissued or can it stay linked to my Canadian Passport?
    2. Regarding the OCI Miscellaneous Services form, because nationality has changed does this require reissue of the entire OCI or can just the new passport and nationality be updated?
    After the OCI Miscellaneous Services form was filled online I got a file number and the finished form says that it needs to mailed in as a hardcopy.
    1. On the hardcopy of the form can we print the same digital photo used in the online form or do we need to attach a real photo print from a photo lab?
    2. Since the card is being reissued do we need to mail them the original OCI card or can we attach a photo copy of the card?
    3. Can we self-attest the copies without notarization
    4. How do I send payment for the OCI reissue?

    I'd appreciate some help if anyone has been through this process.

  • #2
    IMO, if your Canadian Passport is still valid and your OCI is linked to that, you can travel to India on that Canadian passport & OCI combo.

    But, if you want to travel on your US passports, then yes you need to have the OCI re-issued. OCI card by itself doesn't provide entry, it must be linked to a non-Indian passport and you must travel on that passport when visiting India.

    Simplest solution would be to use the CA passport when you travel India.

    As for re-issue, I do not know the process when you are switching linked citizenships. Your nationality has not changed, right? You are still a Canadian citizen, and your also acquired US citizenship. Best to contact to your local consulate about this. VFS is useless for anything other than the routine service. Be sure to get clarity from the consulate before you pay the VFS fee.


    • #3
      Hi Arkaa thanks a lot for your reply. Yes I still have a valid Canadian passport and am still a Canadian citizen since CA supports dual citizenship.
      Technically my nationality is now American and I normally travel with the US passport. However the last time I went to India I did have the CA passport but the immigration staff in India were very confused.
      I tried to call the consulate office in New york but they were equally useless and didn't offer any help. I wanted to switch to my US passport since I will be travelling most often with that. However if its OK to keep it linked to my CA passport and won't cause problems then I'm open to doing that too.

      BTW do you know if its necessary to send back your actual OCI card while applying for a re-issue or is it ok to send a copy?


      • #4
        India doesn't recognize dual or multiple citizenships. So the concept of a person having more than one passport is strange to the immigration officers, and I've even heard of an instance where the traveler (friend of a friend) was detained for several hours at the airport as the immigration officer thought that it was fishy that the person had two passports.

        As I said before, IMO it is best to use your CA passport and existing OCI while travelling to India. Just keep it simple.

        However, since you want to make US your primary passport and want to travel on it, you can get a new OCI.
        See the FAQ here - https://www.mha.gov.in/PDF_Other/FAQ...s_25042017.pdf
        Section 2-(ii) says that "In case of change of personal particulars viz. nationality etc" OCI miscellaneous may be availed for re-issuance of the OCI.

        Same is found in the OCI guidelines document too - https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default...delinesOCI.pdf
        Some additional information here - https://eoi.gov.in/eoisearch/MyPrint.php?6454?001/0005

        So, I guess, you will have to apply for re-issuance under the miscellaneous services
        - https://ociservices.gov.in/capchaActionMisc
        - https://services.vfsglobal.com/usa/e...y-oci-services

        And yes, you will have to send in your original OCI - see the checklist - https://services.vfsglobal.com/one-p...dult-final.pdf
        Your old OCI will be cancelled and a new OCI will be issued linked to your US passport.

        Good luck. And please come back and post your experience in getting it re-issued. Yours is a rare case, not many applicants apply for OCI re-issue due to change in citizenship.


        • #5
          Thanks Arkaa. Yes I started doing the reissue process and got confused hence I posted.
          I'm now having second thoughts about going through with it since my Canadian passport is fully valid.
          I'm aware that India doesnt support dual citizenship but I'm not an Indian citizen anymore so it seems bizarre that they would consider that the immigration isn't aware of this stuff. Maybe they flunked their immigration exams
          Thanks again for your help.


          • #6
            Yeah I'd suggest not doing this. Why bother going through a Government bureaucracy if you don't need to. You might in fact confuse Indian immigration authorities as to why you're bothering with this since you can already enter India and it might unnecessarily delay your application and give you a headache. Just make sure to keep renewing your Canadian passport and enter India with it and your existing OCI.

            Of course, if you plan on giving up your Canadian citizenship then go ahead with this since that would make sense. If you're not giving up your Canadian citizenship and still want to do it then by all means go ahead and do it. You'd be a brave brave person hahaaa
            Last edited by ma06!; 11-29-2021, 02:09 PM.
            Category: C9 Marriage Based
            Filed Date / PD: 10/19/2018
            "Submitted Date" according to the tracker: 10/25/2018
            NOA: 10/26/2018
            Bio Appointment notice received: 10/27/2018
            Biometrics done: 11/16/2018
            "Case is ready to be scheduled for Interview": 11/21/2018
            "Fingerprint review was completed" : 11/28/2018


            • #7
              Thanks Mag06. Yes I've decided to do nothing. I'm definitely keeping Canadian citizenship so will always have a valid passport.
              I sent a message to the Pramit helpline and they confirmed that I could travel to India with the same OCI so thats a relief. This whole thing started because the last time I was in India the authorities told me that I should change the OCI to my US passport, which is why I started down this alley.

              A final question. I had mistakenly submitted an OCI Miscellaneous Services form application to change my passport details. This is before I realized that you have to do a new application for that.
              Is there a way to cancel the Misc services application now?

              Thanks for the advice.